Keen Smart Home Vents

Just received this email from Keen Home

Greetings Keen Home Supporters!

We are excited to reach out with our first official email update and we’d like to begin by saying thank you for your continued support (and in some cases, your pre-orders).

Our first product is the Keen Home Smart Vents

Our initial run of 10,000 units will be sold online on the SmartThings platform and at Lowe’s Home Improvement Centers all across the country.

We expect units to begin shipping in April/May 2015.

I just cut some to get to the main message. Smartthings and Lowes and Smart Home Vents? Wonder if they are Zigbee, Zwave or Wifi?

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These look pretty nice! They appear to be using Zigbee:

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This is very exciting as vents are something I want to add. I’m more interested in their pricing… I’ve been looking at the econet vents, but awaiting ST support. At $99 a pop and the need of up to 10, this isn’t something I want to start dropping cash on until they will work.

These are very cool!! Since it looks like they are ZigBee based I cant wait to get my hands on some!! I need them this winter!! Im looking to create zones for each room on our main floor. I wonder if these vents will work in place of my standard registers?

Hey all! I’m the lead software engineer at Keen Home and I wanted to introduce myself here. I’m happy to see that you’re all as excited as I am about the vents we’re working on. This is the perfect place for me to answer any questions you have, so ask away!


Zwave? Zigbee? Price? Still on target for April/May?

The vent is a zigbee device. Right now we’re estimating that vents will be available late spring/ early summer. With our system you only need to replace 4-6 vents depending on the size of your home, costing roughly $350 total.

We’re excited to hear how you’d use our vents… what kind of SmartApps could you imagine building?

I’d write an app that automatically closes downstairs vents when everyone has gone to bed for the night, so that any heating or cooling is directed into the upstairs bedrooms. And perhaps the inverse during the day.

Another app idea would be one that aims to keep each room at the desired temperature. Perhaps the parents like their master bedroom cooler and the kids like their rooms warmer - you could specify this in the app and it would adjust the vents accordingly, without getting too uncomfortable in either direction.

I imagine Smart Vents to heat/cool areas of the house that are in use monitoring temperatures in those areas and also make it easier to better equalize temperatures in my house.

A Smart App that would allow me to say this area needs to be this temperature based off this temperature sensor and open/close that vent accordingly.

These are really great ideas! Definitely in line with what we’ve been batting around in the office.

I like the idea of closing based on zones. If your house is anything like mine where the upstairs and downstairs are on separate HVACs, when regular vents are installed and they’re all closed it can cause back pressure and decrease the lifetime of the HVAC. Our vents have a pressure sensor that detects this condition and will automatically open to protect your system (and, of course, send that as an event to your SmartApps).

Pairing a temperature sensor in a room with a vent is a great idea as well… even better when you throw your smart thermo into the mix. You could imagine a SmartApp telling the thermostat to turn the heat on and the vent to open fully when the temp falls below the desired setting for that room. Once the temp sensor reaches the right temp you can tell the thermostat to turn off. It’s like having a distributed thermostat :smiley:

Hey All!! Just wanted to let you all know that we’ll be on Shark Tank this Friday at 9PM on ABC. Tune in to see if we get a deal!!


Looking forward to seeing this. Keen Vents is one of the products I’ve been watching. Can’t wait to see it on the Tank.

Pre-orders are open on the keen home website . Looks like they are doing a discount on the first orders, is anyone biting on this?

I was looking at Ecovent but it was around $1300 if I recall with the pre-order discounts. I’m seeing on Consumer Reports they say not more than a third of your vents should be replaced.

What I am trying to understand is why Keen only suggests 4-6 vents. I have vents everywhere and want to be specific about airflow and temperature so I would like to get to a place where all my vents are “smart”. Can someone explain that to me?

Provided the 4-6 vents is right based on an explanation that I hope is forthcoming, how do you decide which are the vents to replace?

There is discussion on this in another thread in the forum. You can damage HVAC system if too many vents are closed at once. And for residential needs, closing a few vents in just a few rooms will likely still maximize your efficiency.

I just watched the Keen Vents segment on Shark Tank. They got their new investor. Hopefully means we’ll see the new vents shipping soon. Never seen that Shark show before. Pretty funny.

Keen gets $750k investor

@GreggKeenHome I am interesting in pre-ordering the set of 5, but the website currently does not give an option of choosing the sizes of vents that I want to order…Can you please help me on how do I choose the size? Is the size chosen later?

@GreggKeenHome How do we explain this --> Click on this LINK ? Do you have any guidelines on how to choose and place automated vents and how to operate them (how many open vs closed at a time), to minimize impact on HVAC performance as described in the link above.? Pasting the article below for easy reading,

How Closed Vents Impact HVAC Performance

Like the idea that cranking the thermostat all the way up or down heats or cools a house quicker, the notion that closing some household vents increases overall HVAC performance and efficiency is a busted myth. In fact, it usually has the opposite effect. In today’s energy-efficient homes, air circulation is balanced to preserve neutral air pressure in each room. When some vents are closed, that delicate balance tips, energy consumption increases and household comfort declines.

Increased Duct Leakage
Even with all vents open, the Department of Energy estimates the average home loses up to 20 percent of heated and cooled air through leaky ducts. However, that percentage climbs even higher when some supply vents are closed. Air pressure inside supply ducts increases in proportion to the number of vents closed and pushes still greater amounts of conditioned air out of existing leaks. Your furnace or A/C runs longer “on” cycles to compensate for the loss, boosting operating costs.

Pressure Imbalances
Though the supply register to a room is closed, the return register in that room (which cannot be closed) continues pulling air back to the furnace or A/C. Room air pressure shifts from neutral to negative. A closed, depressurized room continuously sucks unconditioned outdoor air in through small cracks and gaps that exist in any structure. Room temperature becomes acutely cold or hot and transfers to adjoining rooms by conduction through walls, offsetting the air conditioner or furnace and increasing energy consumption.

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@ashutosh1982 I’m waiting to get this answered before I drop the $400 also. I understand the concept and reasoning behind why you only need a couple placed throughout the home. The question is how do I sporadically place them throughout my home since everyone has a different floor plans. I was watching Shark Tank and I was pre-ordering these before they even got the deal, but stopped because I need this question answered.

@ashutosh1982 Once you find out what area of the room you want to control look at the vent you have now and that’s the size you need. When I was pre-ordering the website said when these are ready to ship they will ask for what size you need from the quantity you requested.

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Hello! Happy to answer that! First, as antman2 stated in his reply, we’ll reach out to you about vent sizing after you complete your pre-order (we’ve already sent out the first batch of size requests). So you know, the four sizes we are currently making are 4x10, 4x12, 6x10, and 6x12. To find out what sizes you need, measure the length and height of the vent duct opening in which your current vent register is installed.